With new research and trial and error in the weight room, methods have come and gone. With all of the information and misinformation out there, it can be tough to figure out what to exactly do to earn the body you desire. While not everything is an absolute, there are some old methods that need to be put to rest and new ones that should be taken into consideration.
#1 Old school– The best rep and set method is 3 sets of 8-12 reps
This set and rep range has been the go-to for many "bodybuilders". This set and rep method has been coined as the “muscle hypertrophy” training method and many have adapted to this for a long time. The problem is that 3 sets of 8-12 reps won’t work forever. It also neglects a very important aspect of training; building strength. This set and rep range is also not the only way to build muscle. At some point in your training, you will need to increase the stimulus and change it up to facilitate growth.
New School – A combo of low (2-5), medium (6-14), and high (15+ reps) By providing your body with multiple different types of sets, reps and loads, you are able to tap into more of your muscle fibers, increase strength, and avoid plateaus
#2 Old School: Hit each body-part once per week for optimal muscle growth
Traditional bodybuilding methods recommend that you hit each muscle group with endless sets once a week in order to see progress. This done not work for the majority of the population. In order to optimize muscle growth, strength and recovery, hitting each body part once a week is not optimal.
New School: work your muscles at least 3 times per week for optimal muscle growth. High frequency training has been shown to produce more muscle growth and improve strength gains. The more often you hit a muscle, the better chance you have to make gains. Want big legs? Make sure your squatting OFTEN !
#3 Old school: Every set needs to be take until complete failure
While this method can produce some great results, it is not for everyone nor can it be done all of the time. True failure his hard to get to due to its biomechanical and neural demands. Not to mention that you need to be one mentally tough person to do this workout after workout.
New school: Leaving 1 rep in the tank for the majority of your sets builds you up, prevents over training and reduces the risk of injury. This type of training will allow for more consistent workouts, prevent burnout, and allow you to really master lifts. It will also help keep you fresh to keep intensity high workout after workout.
#4 Old school: Doing steady state cardio on an empty stomach burns significantly more body fat than cardio with food and during other parts of the day.This method was adapted by bodybuilders for a long-time. It only made sense since the thought was that with less glycogen in the system, more fat would be burned as fuel. This is not always the case and can possibly burn up some precious muscle.
New school: You burn equal fat anytime of day
Whenever you perform cardio it has equal benefits. All cardio methods, such as interval training, metabolic conditioning and steady state cardio all have their place in a training program. Utilize each method depending on your individual needs. Perform at the time of day that is optimal for YOU.
#5 Old school: To gain muscle and lose body fat, you must eat every 2-3 hours, 6+ times a day.
Eating frequently for the advanced bodybuilder looking to step on the IFBB stage may be needed but it doesn’t work for everyone. In most cases, it is just not feasible to do for the individual who is just looking to get fit. Fitting in all of these meals can get complicated. Eating frequently does not increase the metabolism like it was once thought too and in fact it can also reduce insulin sensitivity and cause you to eat unneeded calories.
New school: You can eat 1, 3, 6 meals, or any amount, you just need to reduce nutritional deficiencies.In the end, it is all about getting in the proper amount of calories and nutrients that your body needs. How you get those in your body is up to you and your schedule. Hello MACRO counting smile emoticon
Training methods will come and go and there is always new research being published. Nothing works forever and you need to explore new methods in order to keeping making progress. Keep an open mind, be willing to change and find what works for you.